'where she calmly, casually, tears it up'
May 20, 2018 3:46 AM   Subscribe

Quill18 has been my favourite streamer for years!! So relaxing and an excellent twitch chat crowd.
posted by Pendragon at 4:08 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

I shared this in the Binding of Isaac thread from the other day, but check out Northernlion. He's a Canadian streamer mostly known for his Binding of Isaac streams but he's very chill and friendly. He does other stuff though: Slay the Spire, Oxygen Not Included, Fork Knife. Whenever I want to turn off my brain and just listen and watch something casual in the background, I throw on one of his BoI runs.
posted by Fizz at 5:02 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

My favorite variety streamer is Cohh Carnage. There's a fairly large community (there are ~6600 watching him play Conan Exiles at 8.20AM ET) but for the most part the mods and Cohh himself keep the community from being toxic.
He has a mess of critters (cats, dog, horses) and a 1 year old who feature regularly in his streams. Plus, one of his sponsors is a coffee roaster and they have a special roast just for him that is quite tasty.
posted by mfu at 5:28 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks for pointing out Quill18, pendragon. I haven't played Civ (and wouldn't really want to -- too much work!!), but I'm very much enjoying his stream of the Civ VI preview from the linked article. Watching part II of it now.

So... watching the first person shooter type games aren't that interesting to me because I don't really understand what's happening, and it's just fast running and jumping and killing zoom zoom. Who else should I watch in addition to Quill18 who might tend to stream games that are not quite so frenetic?

/not a gamer, obvs
posted by taz at 6:55 AM on May 20, 2018

taz, I often find a good way to discover a chill stream is to search for a game you're into. I'll search in Twitch for Stardew Valley (really chill to watch) and then I'll try to find a live follower count I'm comfortable with. Some people love watching a stream in a busy room with hundreds of people, but for me I like to scroll down until I can find a stream that has somewhere in the range of 5-20ish people. You get to know people this way and the stream will respond to your questions and it feels like you're just hanging out with some people.
posted by Fizz at 7:06 AM on May 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

ASMRplays' Breath of the Wild playthrough is a very chilled exploration of a beautifully designed game. It's on YouTube, not Twitch, if that matters.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:24 AM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I agree that you are best looking for games that interest you on YouTube or Twitch and looking for people who don't annoy you, but that's easier said than done. Some YouTubers I've stayed subscribed to for years include:

Arumba (Strategy: Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II, etc)
Scott Manley (Space: Kerbal Space Program primarily)
Accurize (Survival: The Long Dark, etc)
Many A True Nerd (Various, but originally Fallout for me)

Lastly an honorable mention for Long Game Short, who has produced montages of long games that are highly entertaining, primarily Paradox titles like EUIV and CKII. Great for when you want to enjoy an epic game but don't have the time/patience to watch hundreds of hours of video.
posted by Acey at 7:49 AM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

I asked for streamer recommendations on the green a few weeks ago and got some good answers.
posted by quaking fajita at 8:19 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

who might tend to stream games that are not quite so frenetic?

Well, my favourite thing on twitch is people streaming Go. Regular and popular streamers include BattsGo who tries to be educational most of the time if you're into that, and CatsPlayGo who mostly don't. But there are many others covering a wide range of skill levels and seriousness. Yesterday's ridiculous Kyu Clash games are about as frenetic as it gets.

Also I somehow feel like fishing is another perfect activity for twitch streaming, so props to Alec Ludford.
posted by sfenders at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Other things I have enjoyed on twitch:

Storm chasing (there were a few of them, didn't save any of the IDs but it was delightfully surreal)

I found one person who played games and cooked at the same time but he was unwatchably annoying. Would love to find others.
posted by quaking fajita at 9:42 AM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

(Looks like the woodworking stream I just linked is about to start broadcasting at this particular moment)
posted by quaking fajita at 9:44 AM on May 20, 2018

Cooking and Chess are also streaming options. It's quite surprising how varied the streams can be on this platform. It's not perfect and your group chat is going to vary from stream to stream but there's a lot to choose from.
posted by Fizz at 9:56 AM on May 20, 2018

Twitch has slowly taken over as my default entertainment option anymore. I was trying to find a relaxing meme-free environment the other day and I stumbled across someone actually playing Nethack for once, which was pretty cool. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what the person was doing, though, the gameplay didn't resemble any kind of Nethack playloop I was familiar with (i.e., dying early and often). Then I read the title and realized that the person playing the stream was doing an extinction run, and it was like a cosmic brain meme had been uploaded directly to my prefrontal cortex and that I was the meme. It was awesome.
posted by the painkiller at 10:22 AM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

My tastes in streamers evolve over time and definitely require the game itself to be interesting to me, which means that even if I like the streamer, if they start to play games I don't like, I tend to move on. All that being said, I am presently watching:
Last_Grey_Wolf (streams with NorthernLion sometimes and is not as good at solo commentary as NL but much better at gameplay)
Toxic Timewaster
posted by vegartanipla at 10:55 AM on May 20, 2018

I'm kind of surprised Northernlion didn't make it into the article. The Northernlion Live Super Show (schedule at whenisnlss.com) is a three-hour live show where NL and a rotating cast of cohosts (including the excellent Hafu, who is mentioned in the article) play games together while chatting and it's probably my favorite thing on Twitch after Gill and Gilbert. It's usually one hour each of three different games, often including Jackbox stuff, various internet pictionary and golf games, or competitive GeoGuessr, which is always a good time. A lot of the show is about the chemistry and banter between the hosts so you don't always need to understand the games, but usually the stuff they play is simple enough to pick up quickly just from watching. And the NLSS crew is pretty lefty and pretty respectful, so you're not going to have to deal with any of the garbage that sets people on edge about "gamer culture". I will say that my first guess for why NL didn't make it into the article is that the conversation sometimes gets a little blue. Like I said, they're respectful so it never goes to a racist or sexist place, but they'll sometimes make jokes about sexual topics.
They all do their own solo stuff too, so the NLSS can be a great place to find new streamers/Youtubers to follow. The NLSS crew was a big inspiration for me starting my own gaming Youtube channel.

I don't usually do this but since it's actually sort of germane to the topic and I'm trying to be more confident about it:
I do my own gaming stuff on Youtube at youtube.com/SBPlaysGames. I often play strategy games like Civilization, Into the Breach, or Renowned Explorers, but not exclusively. I'm currently running series on Battletech, Endless Space 2, and Dungeon of the Endless. I also play board games on the channel, sometimes solo but mostly with my partner, and we do a series called 10 Plays Later (Caverna, Keyper) where we play the same board game 10 times to see how our evaluations and strategies shift with time and experience. I try to run a pretty relaxed show (no performative overreacting or anything like that) with a focus on explaining why I'm making the choices I'm making. I upload videos every weekday and I've been at it for a couple of years now so there's a lot of content there. Thanks for reading to the bottom of my shameless self-plug!

These aren't individual players, but the stuff that Waypoint and Polygon do on Twitch is often pretty good. Gill and Gilbert ("airs" on Polygon on Wednesday evening at 6PM EST) in particular is a real delight, and Waypoint is doing weekly episodes of long playthroughs of strategy games often headed up by Austin Walker, who for my money is the sharpest person working in games analysis and criticism.
posted by IAmUnaware at 11:16 AM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

It's a weird cultural thing that this list is limited to people using the twitch platform. It's easier to find people on youtube in my experience, and the novelty value of watching people play something in realtime is rather outweighed by the inconvenience of not being able to set them to 1.5x or 2x speed.
posted by one for the books at 11:23 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ask anyone trying to break into streaming, and they say that Twitch is balls for discoverability, and the exclusivity they impose on their partnership program is driving most of them to considering YouTube, Patreon, or proprietary platforms as their primary income source. Most of my favorite streamers are RPG players, many of whom incorporate some kind of 'pay us money and affect the game!' mechanic:

Geeks4Good, who are sending their profits to support quality gaming- and mental health charities.
HyperRPG, who have some of the most professional streams, as evidenced by them having had an officially licensed Power Rangers RPG with various stars from the series guest-starring.
GeekSpaceTV, who are very conscious about having a representative, creative set of players and games.
PerceptionCheckDnD, because puppets.

Yes, I have more, if you want more specific or niche requests!
posted by persona at 12:25 PM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't really watch Twitch, though I know a streamer who streams their dinner preparations.

I think it's because I tend to prefer resource management/strategy games (and have lately been playing a lot of Factorio).

On YouTube, I mostly watch KatherineOfSky (YouTube) - mostly for her playthroughs and walkthroughs of Factorio, Biffa (YouTube) - mostly for his noodling on Astroneer, and Robust Team (Kwebbelkop, Jelly, and Slogoman). Team Robust has gotten pretty YouTube famous. I think in total, they have about 18 million subscribers. They're 3 friends who grew up playing GTA 5 and other games together. These days they still do, and manage to keep it pretty clean. They seem, so far, to have avoided the trap of success making them terrible (to each other, to others).
posted by kalessin at 1:17 PM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here's my giant list:

Speedrunning: Narcissa Wright, KZ_FREW, Orcastraw, protomagicalgirl, EnchantressOfNumbers, headstrong1290, Lizstar, EmeraldAly

Roguelikes: gammafunk (DCSS dev), heckpriest (hellcrawl dev), acegiak (currently Caves of Qud, also streams that DnD thing)

Other gaming: SpudMuffins Trans Gaming, cylvana, RebeccaVersus, PeachFuzzLIVE, CrusaderQuinn, girlfiend, femcore

Programming/tech: scanlime-in-progress, ktemkin, hedgeberg, JessicaMak, noopkat

Overclocking: the one and only buildzoid (Actually Hardcore Overclocking on YouTube)

Comics/Art: cyelatm, splendidland, CubeWatermelon, hypatium
posted by floatboth at 1:45 PM on May 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I spend way too much time watching the LoadingReadyRun twitch stream (https://www.twitch.tv/loadingreadyrun), it's basically a TV station with scheduled shows involving a dozen or so streamers in various combinations. Highly recommended.
posted by PennD at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2018

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